State Slots Revenue Could Boost Park Heights Community

BALTIMORE (WJZ)—A slots pay-off presents a challenge for city planners.

Pat Warren reports the city must decide what to do with its $2 million share of state slots proceeds.

Eye-catching action on the Pimlico Race Course, but the other side of the track is nothing short of an eyesore with rows of dilapidated houses and residents living in between.

“It’s pathetic and there’s nothing we can do about it,” said Rochelle Short, Park Heights resident.

Slots money could make a difference.

Pimlico Race Course entitles the city to a share, even without a Baltimore casino, and the first $2 million installment is coming in, but residents are divided over where to spend it. A plan to build a new park is drawing criticism.

“People need places to live, but they want to build a park. OK, they gonna sleep in the park? That’s what’s gonna happen. They’re gonna sleep in the park and that’s going to be an issue. So fix up the houses. Stop wasting money,” said Malik Basit, Park Heights resident.

Some residents would be relocated. Irene Lewis lives next door to an abandoned city-owned property.

“We’ve been living here for like over 20 some years, and I would hate to vacate my home,” Lewis said. “If anything I would like for them to improve the conditions around it, not for us to have to move away from it.”

That too is possible.

“We can offer some new revitalization loans for homeowners so they can fix up their properties,” said Tom Stosur, Baltimore planning director.

The worst of them would be demolished.

“We definitely care about our neighborhood, trust me, a lot of people out here is on a positive note. We try and better ourselves,” one Park Heights resident said.

They may finally be getting a boost. A public meeting is set for the end of this month, after which Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake will settle on a plan.

More from Pat Warren
Comments

One Comment

  1. Brent Barbour says:

    The money for slots never benefits any one in the community where the slots are. If the state is serious, use the money to build new schools first, with state of the art computer labs, technical programs, new text books, teacher raises and better community policing. Don’t tear down a single house- because what gets rebuilt none of us in the community will be able to afford. The land around the track will increase so, that the residents wont be able to afford to pay taxes. . This is why slots never benefits those in the community. Dont let any developer in to grab up land unless the housing is for those already in the community. No fancy condos around the track, only affordable rent controlled housing.

  2. Brent Barbour says:

    All those vacants are now worth so much more. The money needs to be used to redevelop those vacants for low income, middle income residents. Keep the greedy land grabbing developers out, and city management (mayor) needs to be open and accountable to the people about what happens to the land around the track-including city owned property before any backroom deals are made (if the deals are not already made). It is time for a New Neighborhood Community Association with a charter that has some teeth to it, and for the residents of Park Heights to come together to demand more than an equal share of revenues be used to fix up everything on the block.

  3. Brent Barbour says:

    Start by setting aside $1 million dollars for current residents to apply for grants and low interest loans to fix up their current properties; Loans and grants that are affordable and accecssible to low income residents!!! Then have the casino set up a fund that directs a percentage of income back into the Park Heights community for redevelopment and social issues that are sure to arise from the casino’s presence ( counseling services for gambling addicts, crime prevention, job training, etc. )
    AND BE SURE TO GET IN ALL IN WRITING BEFORE THE FIRST COIN HITS THE SLOT MACHINE!

  4. happyharry says:

    What is this the Brent Barbour forum??…You have got to be kidding about slots helping Park Heights neighborhood or any other s….hole black part of the city. The porch monkeys will buy into this big time as they are suckers for a fast buck & twice as stupid.

  5. Cathy Jean Gruebl says:

    Why don’t they help the Dundalk area around Graceland Park. Some of these houses are inhabitable and really ruiining our neighborhood. Something should be done.

  6. SILLYMAN MICHAELS says:

    I GREW UP IN PIMILCO AND THE ONLY WAY YOUR GOING TO MAKE THIS
    A NICE AREA AGAIN IS TO GET RID OF THE THUGS AND ANIMALS UNTIL THEN
    IT DOESN’T MATTER WHAT YOU ALL TRY TO DO TO BRING THIS NEIGHBORHOOD BACK ..SAVE OUR TAX DOLLARS

  7. whatnow says:

    Wait a minute, I though slots money was supposed to go for education. Just another government lie. A park. Seriously. With all the problems the city has. They would be better off building another jail. I remember when the lottery money was supposed to go for education. Instead, we got 2 stadiums for rich people to play in and rich people to attend.

  8. seashell says:

    I agree with whatnow. Park Heights area is definitely a poor choice for slots.The city and streets are in disrepair. Those people living there should have the right to decent affordable housing. I”m all for slots and the lottery, but it’s quite clear the monies are being dispersed elsewhere than it was intended for. Too much crime has run rampant. I won’t go near PH for fear of getting robbed of my winnings.

  9. ed says:

    Park Heights, once a nice Jewish neighborhood was sold out during the White flight to Owings Mills by the Hebrews themselves & they are now paying the price for that little caper in Owings Mills. The porch monkeys who live in Park Heights did to that neighborhood themselves with their no standards, no morlas, no fathers, welfare bunnies, thug kids criminals & hip hop idiots. Let them stew in their own juices. They are all bad MO-FO’s.

  10. Jonathan Chiles says:

    Why is it always; The State supporting the City. Why isn’t the city supporting the state. Think about it. The idea of a city is to have Business and Residents close together in a more efficient way. Fortune 500 company’s, well paying jobs, Entertainment.
    Take for instance the new additional tax on Alcohol. Where is that money going? Baltimore city, along with Prince Gorges and Montgomery County. Not to mention they are all predominately democrat.
    I personally am sick of hearing about the city. I am sick of everything being about the city. There is more to Maryland than just Baltimore City.

  11. LaDasha says:

    I think the state and federal government should do more to help the residents of Baltimore City. We can’t afford to move to the county and have a beautiful home like most people. I can’t get a job because daycare is to expensive. There are so many ways we could be helped. From past practices we deserve it.

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